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Glass Animals Bolster Their Australian Bond at Surprise Show [Live Review]

Glass Animals’ pop-up show at Sydney’s Liberty Hall left fans pining for the release of the band’s new album

Glass Animals


The last time Glass Animals were in Australia, it was for the notorious ‘Splendour in the Mud’ in 2022. If you were at the festival that year, you’ll know that the English indie pop band’s set was a bright ray of sunshine on an otherwise miserable day.

So, when it was announced this week that Glass Animals would be doing a surprise pop-up show in Sydney on Thursday night, I, like so many others, jumped at the chance to see the band under much better circumstances.

The announcement of Glass Animals’ show may have arrived unexpectedly, but it really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise because they have a special relationship with Australia: this is the band who famously topped triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2020 with their mammoth hit “Heat Waves”, and who celebrated that win by getting Australia-themed tattoos on their arses. I simply don’t think a country and a band could fortify its relationship better than this.

Performing at Liberty Hall, a notably intimate venue in comparison to the larger venues the band could easily have sold out in Sydney, it felt even more special to be in the room on Thursday night.

As the lights dimmed, a ravenous scream tore through the venue. Four white lights shone brightly, one by one, as Glass Animals bounced onto the onto the stage with evident excitement. 

“How ya doing,” asked frontman Dave Bayley in his soft English accent. For a person the general public is used to seeing wearing his signature round glasses, Bayley was surprisingly glassless tonight. 

The band jumped straight into the sleek “Your Love (Déjà Vu)”, a cut from their 2022 album Dreamland, and Bayley immediately let loose with some fine dance moves. His feet moved with the celerity of a man with something trapped in his shoes, leaping from the speakers to the back of the stage to the front and back again. 

“Life Itself” and “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” were next, with the crowd completely under Bayley’s spell: during the latter song, he stopped to raise his hand, and the crowd cheered; when he put his hand down, they stopped cheering. 

“Goddamn, it’s good to be back in Australia. Tonight’s going to be special,” Bayley said before introducing “Creatures in Heaven”, the lead single off their new album, I Love You So F***ing Much, which is scheduled for release on July 19th. “This is only the third time we’ve played this one live,” he added, which is why he was excused for forgetting a few of the lyrics. (Some quick-thinking fans helped him out though.)


🔥 HEAT WAVES 🔥 @Glass Animals surprise gig at Liberty Hall in Sydney (9/5/2024) ✌️ WHAT A SHOW ?!?! 🤯🤯🤯❤️‍🔥 #GlassAnimals #GlassAnimalsSydney #GlassAnimalsAustralia #LibertyHallSydney #HeatWaves #GlassAnimalsHeatWaves #GlassAnimalsLive #GlassAnimals #HeatWavesLive #livemusic #newmusic #Sydney

♬ original sound – Rhianna Dews 🦋🎶

Later, Bayley bravely decided to run through the crowd and perform at the bar at the back of the venue for the bubbly crowd favourite “Gooey”. Everyone’s heads swivelled, and soon a crowd formed and danced around him, like a prophet commanding his followers. However, the bar was, in the words of Bayley, “fucking slippery.”

Bayley wasn’t done praising our country. “Australia has given us so so much. And we’re going to come back but this is our last one for now… thank you all for being part of this,” he said towards the end of the set, refreshingly sounding like he sincerely meant what he was saying. 

An encore inevitably followed, which included the previously unheard “A Tear in Space (Airlock)”, a synth-dripping funky song that will be sure to stick between your ears. The band finished, of course, with “Heat Waves”. “We’ll see you soon,” exclaimed Bayley after finishing the encore, and we all believed him. 

Glass Animals’ I Love You So F***ing Much is out July 19th (pre-save/pre-order here).